What can Manchester United learn from their European rivals during the summer transfer window?
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the reins at Manchester United, many thought this would be a pretty much instant return to the club’s glory days. While some feel that they won’t hit the heights they once did ever again, the transfer window represents an opportunity to make some new signings and bring in fresh blood to the team. But can Manchester United learn from their European rivals strategy to start winning big again? It’s all to play for.
Changes are already clear to see
Some changes at the club are already very clear to see, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer securing some initial summer signings in the shape of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. It’s also expected that there will be more youngsters making a move to Old Trafford before the window ends next month. Throw into the mix Marcus Rashford’s new deal, coupled with Solskjaer’s desire to put a lot of focus on the future of the team moving forward, and you can see a new philosophy of building the squad around a lot of young British talent.
However, the Red Devils had their eye on other European countries and their starlets, too. It seems they cast their gaze on Adrien Rabot, the 24-year-old midfielder from Paris Saint-Germain. The latest football news bulletins were hot on the case, but the Frenchman has instead decided to make a free transfer to Juventus. He is the second free transfer to the Italian side this summer, with the Serie A champions also snaring former Arsenal man Aaron Ramsey. This also marks Juve’s 11th big free transfer in the last ten years.
United like to spend big
In the past, United were not a club that shied away from spending lots of money. However, there has been a reluctance in the past to fork out for certain players. Last summer, for example, it seemed that Jose Mourinho wanted a centre back, but United failed to strengthen that position when he clashed with Ed Woodward over valuations and targets.
By contrast, Juventus are simply big spenders – you only have to look at how much they spent on Ronaldo to confirm this. They have, however, been able to negotiate many free deals, too, and this has worked to their advantage. Ramsey and Rabiot are now on an illustrious list of free transfers that Serie A teams have made in recent years. Others on the list include Fabio Cannavaro, Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Sami Khedira.
Juventus are a very shrewd club and while they recognise that in some instances, free transfers can relate to increased wages and agents fees, they’ve simply tried to land players that will change the face of their club for the better. Most importantly, they’ve not paid over the odds to do so.
The last free transfer United got was in 2016 when they secured Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His first outings made many make the assertion that he had been one of the best free transfers in the Premier League. The only other free transfers the Old Trafford club have ever managed to negotiate were for Sergio Romero and Michael Owen. Both players proved their worth.
However, it does look like Solskjaer is trying to change the mindset of the club. His way of thinking regarding transfer strategies might mean that they don’t let too many other good chances slip through the net. The money is on him looking to Juventus and their way of dealing with the summer transfer window season – he could do much worse on his way to trying to push Manchester United back to the very top of their game.